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Cyber Savvy Broker: Dillon Behr

Cyber Savvy Broker Dillon Behr

As technology transforms the economy, businesses of all sizes have to navigate a new kind of risk: digital risk. 

The most successful brokers will need to be prepared to help their clients navigate these complex risks. Our "Cyber Savvy Broker" series highlights forward-thinking brokers with the knowledge and skills to help their clients navigate this digital transformation.

Dillon Behr, Area VP/Producer, Executive Lines, RPS Insurance, left his career as a cybersecurity threat intelligence analyst seven years ago to become his firm's first cyber insurance expert. Dillion shared the importance of brokers seeking out cybersecurity education to stay current on trends and what changes he thinks are crucial for the future of insurance.

What key skills are essential for brokers in the current market? 

For a while, brokers could sell cyber without much cybersecurity knowledge or comprehension. You could get by speaking the lingo. 

What sets me apart from brokers a few years ago is my cybersecurity background. When I start talking with organizations about having security controls in place, such as MFA, EDR, and many other cyber acronyms, they're second nature to me because I knew them before I was working in insurance. A lot of people in insurance have had to learn along the way, and they don't necessarily understand how networks work. They’re able to talk the talk, but they don't really have much understanding to back it up. 

"To be a successful cyber broker these days, you have to educate yourself on not only the cybersecurity controls that need to be secure but also about how to navigate the current market."

It’s no longer who's going to win with the cheapest price and the broadest coverage, but who will even offer the coverage for a particular risk with these particular controls. This was something most brokers were never concerned about before.

You said it’s up to brokers to educate themselves. What tools or resources do you recommend they use?

There are a lot of cybersecurity courses and certificates that people can take, but at the end of the day, we're insurance brokers and not cybersecurity professionals. Our role is to understand cyber risk and be a risk advisor, first and foremost. 

Many carriers, including Coalition, offer a number of really great resources to educate brokers. There are also classes that you can take, and some of them are free. 

Our 2022 Cyber Claims Report: Mid-year Update is available for brokers to expand their cyber insurance knowledge. 

As a wholesaler, how do you help your retail brokers?

When you're a retailer, and you're focused on the whole gamut of insurance—from property & casualty to general liability umbrella—it's hard to be really good at selling cyber because it requires technical knowledge. A lot of my retailers will rely on me and my expertise to help them close deals and make sure that they're getting the best option for their clients.

What are the biggest concerns you're hearing from prospective policyholders regarding cyber insurance?

We require a lot more from our insureds than we did just two years ago. We're asking them to implement numerous security controls and provide a lot more information on ransomware applications. As a result, some of the smaller insureds that didn't have a lot of cybersecurity controls in place previously are getting enormous rate hikes this year. Those insureds have shared that they would rather spend their money on security controls than on insurance because they can’t afford both. This has been the biggest concern we’ve been up against lately.

What do you look for when you're recommending insurance partnerships to your clients?

The first thing I look for is the best coverage. After that, we look for partners like Coalition that have additional services included with the insurance policy. A big thing I look for in a long-term partner is their willingness to pay claims and pay them in a reasonable and timely manner. 

One of the things that I love about Coalition is that you have in-house incident response and claims teams, so it's an all-in-one policy. We don't have to worry about going to third parties that slow the process down, which is great.

What do you think needs to be done for the insurance industry to evolve in the future?

I haven’t been in insurance for as long as many of my peers, but there are a lot of people that are not specialized in any particular type of business. I think as a wholesale broker or even as a retailer, if you're not specialized and not keeping yourself educated on what you're selling, you're going to be pushed to the wayside because you're not providing enough value. So in the future, I’d like to see brokers becoming more specialized and providing true value to their clients.

Improve your cyber knowledge with Coalition

Cyber insurance is one of the fastest-growing insurance products and a huge opportunity for brokers to grow their book of business. Coalition's Cyber Savvy program equips you with the tools and knowledge you need to deepen your cyber risk expertise and advise (and protect!) your clients. 

You can access more free Cyber Savvy Broker resources to continue your learning journey.